A sweet, honest parenthood tale.


What to expect when you’re expecting, in epistolary, picture-book form.

In playful rhyme, a father writes to his daughter about what it means to be a man raising a young girl. First comes the excitement of knowing that the mother is pregnant, which the expectant parents gladly announce to the world. But when Mommy asks, “Daddy, what do you hope the baby will be?” he’s unsure how to respond. At first, he imagines that he wants a boy, but then he’s cheered by the prospect of raising a girl—although he doesn’t quite know what that would entail. Nevertheless, he believes that he “could learn so much” and that “it would surely change his world.” Smith’s debut is honest about expectant fathers’ anticipation, noting how Christmas loses its luster for Daddy without a baby to share it with. While he waits, he fantasizes about having tea parties or going to the park with his daughter. Debut illustrator Duffy’s images are soft, colorful, and cartoonish—and they often include bits of humor, as when a picture of a fetus puzzling over a map pairs with “you were on the way.” Some of Daddy’s musings could have been less gender normative, but as a love letter from father to daughter, this book is sure to delight.

A sweet, honest parenthood tale.

Pub Date: May 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5255-4174-2

Page Count: 52

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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With the same delightfully irreverent spirit that he brought to his retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" (1987), Marshall enlivens another favorite. Although completely retold with his usual pungent wit and contemporary touches ("I don't mind if I do," says Goldilocks, as she tries out porridge, chair, and bed), Marshall retains the stories well-loved pattern, including Goldilocks escaping through the window (whereupon Baby Bear inquires, "Who was that little girl?"). The illustrations are fraught with delicious humor and detail: books that are stacked everywhere around the rather cluttered house, including some used in lieu of a missing leg for Papa Bear's chair; comically exaggerated beds—much too high at the head and the foot; and Baby Bear's wonderfully messy room, which certainly brings the story into the 20th century. Like its predecessor, perfect for several uses, from picture-book hour to beginning reading.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1988

ISBN: 0140563660

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1988

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Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children.


On hot summer nights, Amani’s parents permit her to go outside and play in the apartment courtyard, where the breeze is cool and her friends are waiting.

The children jump rope to the sounds of music as it floats through a neighbor’s window, gaze at stars in the night sky, and play hide-and-seek in the moonlight. It is in the moonlight that Amani and her friends are themselves found by the moon, and it illumines the many shades of their skin, which vary from light tan to deep brown. In a world where darkness often evokes ideas of evil or fear, this book is a celebration of things that are dark and beautiful—like a child’s dark skin and the night in which she plays. The lines “Show everyone else how to embrace the night like you. Teach them how to be a night-owning girl like you” are as much an appeal for her to love and appreciate her dark skin as they are the exhortation for Amani to enjoy the night. There is a sense of security that flows throughout this book. The courtyard is safe and homelike. The moon, like an additional parent, seems to be watching the children from the sky. The charming full-bleed illustrations, done in washes of mostly deep blues and greens, make this a wonderful bedtime story.

Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55271-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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